Tomorrow marks the launch of the Uptown Farmers Market! We are very excited to be furthering the connection between local producers and local consumers. As we seek to utilize our parking lot for this purpose, we are also very mindful of our unhoused neighbors residing in the space and the need for dignity and respect in all that we do. We write today with an update on our efforts related to people experiencing houselessness and our communications to date to ensure the success of our new farmers market activities for all involved.
As we reported previously, the Heartland Alliance is working with the unhoused neighbors in our parking lot to help them secure permanent housing. The process is underway, and we are in support of it. In the meantime, we have also engaged in direct dialogue with our unhoused neighbors and with the Chicago Union of the Homeless and the 46th Ward Democrats with respect to our plans to use our parking lot for the Uptown Farmers Market. We have designed the layout of the farmers market to not encroach on or impede our unhoused neighbors and have endeavored to provide notice and awareness to everyone that there will be activity in our parking lot on Wednesdays this summer. Our intent, and our goal, is to achieve a successful farmers market in our parking lot while allowing our unhoused neighbors to stay in place until Heartland Alliance can secure permanent housing options for them.
We are hopeful that the Uptown Farmers Market will be a well-received and vibrant addition to the community, as well as an important boost to Chicago Market’s overall fundraising needs. Simultaneously, the Board is continuing to support the efforts of Heartland Alliance to work with our unhoused neighbors and continue our own education and work to be better allies and partners. To that end, the Board has formed a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion working group and also will be attending several equity-related educational workshops as part of the Up and Coming food co-op conference. We look forward to reporting back to you on these efforts and learnings in our next update.
As always, if you have suggestions or advice for us, please share them by email at [email protected].
The Board of Directors
Chicago Market – A Community Co-op